The Tooth Fairy

iBrian

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The tooth fairy came to our house last night. We're not sure how, but somehow, the tooth fairy managed to magic out the tooth that Hannah had swallowed, and left her a pound coin under an eggcup - along with a note from the fairies about the matter.

Hannah has had two loose teeth for a few days, and she apparently swallowed one while eating last night, and was worried that the tooth fairy wouldn;t be able to find it.

Now...

Firstly, I will presume that perhaps there is a general consensus that the Tooth Fairy does not exist.

Importantly, though - is the tooth fairy notion really a harmless little while lie? OR simply an alternative mythology? Fundamentally, is it a wrongful act of disceit to promote the idea of a tooth fairy to children?
 

BlueCanary

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I don't think there's much harm in the tooth fairy, or our mythical holiday mascots (Santa and the Easter bunny), for that matter. The tooth fairy is just a way of putting a little fun into the act of losing one's teeth. It's a silly kind of myth, and I have a hunch even many kids don't believe it anymore by the time they've losta few of their teeth. I have yet to meet a child who was traumatized or otherwise felt betrayed about this little lie.
 

bob x

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There was a cartoon in the paper a couple days ago with a true believer arguing with one of the scoffers:
No, we don't UNDERSTAND how reindeer fly, we're just so GLAD they DO!!! It's a MYSTERY, and if you can't accept it by FAITH, and keep asking these QUESTIONS, you'll be marked down on the list as NAUGHTY instead of NICE!!! Do you really want to take that chance???
 

Susma Rio Sep

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Children play dumb.

About tooth fairy and children believing in them from grown-ups.

As far as I can remember of my own early years and as far as I can observe from my own children, which I have brought up to now be on their own -- brought them up in person, and with my wife breastfeeding them. We have two, so it was not hard to exercise a very hands-on bringing up of these two kids.

They are in most if not all cases playing dumb with us; because they know that it is good for them to play along with us.

And we want to believe that they are dumb so that we do not have to face the reality of their being knowledgeable about the shenanigans we as grown-ups are into in our personal and public life.

That is a very rich field to research on by child psychologists; but many of them are also in the shop routine of talking from rote.

Susma Rio Sep
 

Loreley

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I said:
Firstly, I will presume that perhaps there is a general consensus that the Tooth Fairy does not exist.

I wouldn't be part of this consensus. I think that many entities (goes, fairies, spirits, etc.) exist because people believe in them. It is their belief that sustains the entity. So as far as I am concerned, the naive belief of many children around the world in the tooth fairy means that there *is* a very real and tangible tooth fairy.

I said:
Importantly, though - is the tooth fairy notion really a harmless little while lie? OR simply an alternative mythology? Fundamentally, is it a wrongful act of disceit to promote the idea of a tooth fairy to children?

Not sure if "alternative mythology" is the right term for this. Perhaps "secular mythology"?

It isn't wrongful in my opinion. No more than promoting the idea of Santa Claus... And when the child grows up, he or she will decide for themselves if these figures do or don't exist.
 

Susma Rio Sep

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Business standpoint

santa Claus is good for business, as also St. Valentine.

But the tooth fairy?

Susma Rio Sep
 

littlemissattitude

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What? No Tooth Fairy? I'm shocked.;)

Seriously, I don't think there is any harm in letting a child believe in the Tooth Fairy. In my own, nonpsychologial, opinion having a tooth fairy to help a child through something that might be traumatic is a good thing. After all, some children may feel a little strange about losing something of themselves in that way even if it has been explained to them that another tooth will grow in to replace the one that is lost.

I think having a belief in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and such actually helps enrich the child's imagination. It is not harmful at all, in my opinion. In fact, I find it more harmful not to encourage a child to exercise his or her imagination in such ways. I have known people who were brought up by their parents to be "realistic" about such things - they never had Santa or the Tooth Fairy or anything. These people, for the most part, never had a chance to be a child and are generally disapproving of things like fun and playfulness, even in children. I am not saying that this is universally true, but it has been among those people in this circumstance whom I have personally known.
 

Susma Rio Sep

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Dream composition

littlemissattitude said:
( . . . )

I think having a belief in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and such actually helps enrich the child's imagination. ( . . .)

( . . . )

I used to compose my dreams before I would fall asleep. Many years ago in my pre-school years.

But I knew even then that it was all imagination, and entertaining to indulge in imaginary beings.

Later I couldn't compose my dreams anymore and dream about giants, and dragons, and even Santas and monsters, whatevef my fancy chose.

In school I came across what I remember to be Ignatian method of meditation requiring composition of the scene where one is to enter into in the meditation. I thought that was what I used to do as a kid.

Woe is me! Now I can't neither compose my dreams nor compose the scenes of my meditation. But when I can't sleep or having some stressed situation in getting to sleep, I permutate 1234 in all the possible combinations, and I unfailingly fall asleep.

Susma Rio Sep
 

mirrorinthefog

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When I inevitably began to loose teeth (which by the way was in no way 'traumatic') I was told of the tooth-fairy, in a very tongue-in-cheek way, and my parents and I both knew that it was a sort of game: one which they would engage, and I would try to catch them at it before they could cover their tracks via the mysterious 'fairy'.
It was fun, and it did encourage imagination. I admit I always had an active, okay, overactive imagination and still do, but seriously I don't think this is anything to be up in arms about.
I grew up in a Muslim household, and never celebrated Christmas or Easter, and had no belief in the Easter bunny or Santa Claus, but that did not lessen their values as interesting, colourful stories, and I was taught to respect the various beliefs of our Christian friends and relatives, including children who might believe in these ideas. Do I feel traumatized because I didn't grow up with Santa or going to hunt for easter eggs? No, and I don't think that eventually my children will be 'damaged' or 'traumatized' for being made to believe/not believe in it.
 

Virtual_Cliff

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Alternative mythology? We do this all the time. Remember all those urban myths? (see snopes.com) But they all help us to understand something important. So Father Christmas is true if he is the spirit of giving and merriment; the Easter bunny - all that stuff about Spring and new life; and the Tooth Fairy shows that every smallest part of the child is valued, something very important to know when you are little. I concede that myths can be abused for harmful and manipulative ends (cf the Nazi Arian myth [spelling?]), but I think we're probably OK with the tooth fairy. :)
 
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